Title – Ruin
Author – Rachel Van Dyken
Series – Ruin, #1
I’m not your typical girl. I’ve been running away from the memories that haunt me for so long that depression has become my only comfort. I was content in the darkness…until Wes Michals offered to be my light.
I didn’t know that time wasn’t my ally — that every second that ticked past was one step closer to the end of something that was beginning to mean the end of myself. He tried to warn me. He promised me all he was able to offer–each moment as it came–but it would never be enough.
Sometimes when you think it’s the end, it’s only the beginning. Wes thought he could save me, but in giving me everything, he ruined me. Because after one kiss, one touch, I couldn’t–I wouldn’t ever be the same.
And from that moment on, his heartbeat became my own.
This book could not be more appropriately titled. From start to finish Rachel Van Dyken has ruined me with this story. This was my first book by Rachel and after one read through, Ruin quickly shot to my top five favorite books of all time. Ruin is utter perfection. Wes and Kiersten’s story overflows with humor and heart, telling a beautiful tale that will permanently etch itself upon your soul. Rachel Van Dyken has re-defined the ugly cry with this book, making sure I felt every part of Ruin deeply and permanently.
“For the first time in a year, I wanted to live — because I wanted to spend every freaking day watching her open her eyes to the world. Hell, I wanted to be the first thing she saw. Sometimes, reality’s a bitch.”
Kiersten knows the realities of life and loss all too well. She heads to college with a dark cloud still hovering over her. Wes has seen his own share of loss and recognizes a twin soul in Kiersten. They set out to conquer Kiersten’s list of ways to live and enjoy life, not realizing the ramifications it will have for them both. The friendship they form is absolutely breathtaking. Their easy conversations, humorous encounters and emotionally charged moments of honesty are just some of the ways Rachel Van Dyken has managed to bring this couple to life.
“Time was the most precious thing in the world to me, and I’d just given her all of it. Because I was falling for her.”
The best part of this book is the relationships. Rachel has not only created something incredibly rare between Wes and Kiersten, but between Kiersten and Lisa, Gabe and Wes, Kiersten and Gabe, etc. Each and every personal dynamic is flawless. Each character has a distinct history and an inimitable voice that brings color and depth to the story. The characters work in concert to challenge each other, support each other, encourage growth and nurture love. The family that Rachel has crafted here is truly one-of-a-kind.
“What you two have — it’s a once in a lifetime — you fight for him, sweetheart. Fight for him with every last breath. No regrets, okay?”
Ruin is definitely a journey. Wes and Kiersten travel a long and winding road that takes them places I never expected. Their journey is filled with laughter, faith, fear, sadness, courage, hope and an unquestionable belief in the strength of the human spirit. Rachel has taken the very best of the human heart and given it a place to sparkle. Ruin is raw, real, and at times, devastatingly honest. This book made me fall in love, broke my heart, and then made me fall in love all over again. This story has left me feeling irrevocably changed. Ruin is, without question, a MUST read for anyone who has lived love and loss and still holds onto hope.
I’m a huge fan of RVD, so with the release of Toxic coming up, I wanted to have this one read in order to be ready. What I discovered is that this is one of those books. You know the books that you stack on your favorite shelf, the one that changes how you view so many different aspects of your life; the one that you go to when you need a good healthy dose of medicine for the soul? Ruin was that for me.
“Just because you need help to cope doesn’t make you any less strong.”
Ruin is sort of like a cross between A Walk to Remember and The Vow movie to be honest. There is a list that needs fulfilling and plenty of lessons to be taught. Wes teaches Kiersten how to live and be alive…how to appreciate life. My older sister lives every day with a blood disease that will eventually take her life. This book helped heal a hole from that in a way. It helped restore my faith in a major way.
“The truly weak people in this life are the ones who can’t admit they need help. They’re the ones who can’t admit that they can no longer go at it alone. Those are the people who are weak.”
Kiersten was a lost soul. She was living in the day to day but was never truly alive. Wes had accepted his fate. The two of them meet and everything changes. Kiersten develops a list of things she wants to do and Wes takes it upon himself to help her complete them. He is probably my newest book boyfriend – I just love him so much. I know that my words are not doing this book justice – it just left that much of a mark for me.
“By asking for help, by taking help, you’ve admitted your weakness and in that, you find your strength.”
Van Dyken just writes all of her characters in ways that you can’t help but love them. They burrow their way into your heart and just stick there. She also could have been a counselor in another life because some of her words are just chicken soup for the soul. Seriously, I’ve never read words that made me question life and faith and hope the way hers do. I love for a book to challenge beliefs like that.
“The weak of the world are those who think they’ve got it all figured out and flaunt it to others.”
I’m going to stop ranting now. If you haven’t picked up this amazing book, do yourself a favor and read it. Warning, grab your tissues because it is definitely an emotional read. However, it is worth every. Single. Penny!
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Check out the rest of the Ruin series:
Toxic (Ruin #2)
Fearless (Ruin #2.5)
Shame (Ruin #3)
The Ruin Series Box Set (Ruin, Toxic & Fearless)